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Waters and Dow Advance Polymer Analysis Technology with Introduction of ACQUITY APC

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
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Breakthrough technology ushers in the next era in polymer discovery.

Waters Corporation announced a system that defines a new category of chromatographic polymer analysis, yielding improved molecular weight information about polymeric species, faster than ever before. The system delivers dramatically improved polymer peak resolution, particularly for low molecular weight polymers and oligomers up to 20 times faster than traditional gel permeation chromatography (GPC).

The ACQUITY® Advanced Polymer Chromatography™ (APC™) system was unveiled at Pittcon, the annual premier conference and exposition on laboratory science, held this year in Philadelphia. The system was developed in collaboration with The Dow Chemical Company .

APC is comprised of an innovative, refractive index detector that has been optimized for low dispersion but with the low noise and drift performance required for accurate integration, even at low polymer concentrations.

The precise flow delivery of the isocratic solvent manager ensures that the calibrated system delivers accurate molecular weight data, day after day. Additionally, the system features new column technology based on rigid, sub 3 µm, high pore volume bridged-ethyl hybrid particles that provide significant gains in stability and faster separations.

Ian King, Waters vice president of Separations Technologies, noted that APC represents a major change from soft gel columns that are susceptible to swelling in the solvents used for polymer analysis.

“With APC, scientists can run diverse polymer applications on a single system, on one bank of columns with a variety of solvents,” he said. “Now our customers can significantly improve laboratory efficiency and asset utilization. This collaboration with Dow is an example of what can happen when you merge leading edge technology with excellent innovation and effective collaboration.”

“Industry is on a constant quest to identify and understand the properties of new materials while making the process of innovation faster, simpler and more sustainable,” said Dow’s Jim Alexander, associate Research & Development director, Core R&D Analytical Sciences. “This new capability will help solve critical R&D challenges, helping scientists to drive to solutions more quickly, with improved data quality.”

Alexander joined the Waters team in launching the technology at Pittcon. The conference is organized by The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, a Pennsylvania not-for-profit educational corporation which is comprised of the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP).

The development of APC marks a 50-year relationship between Waters and Dow. In 1963, Dow licensed its GPC patent to Waters, and the company launched the GPC 100, one of the world's first commercial, high-pressure liquid chromatography systems. The GPC 100 ushered in a milestone in laboratory science and opened the door to innumerable discoveries that reach beyond the laboratory into production, quality control and clinical testing.

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